The New York Jets sent a message to the NFL on Sunday, winning their first game of the season. Their chances at a playoff run may not be as slim as they seem.
The New York Jets’ 2019 looked hopeless. After a miserable 0-4 start, their original hope to be in the mix for a playoff appearance seemed all but lost.
Then, Sam Darnold came back.
The Jets came out on Sunday a completely different team. They shocked the Dallas Cowboys, winning their first game of the season in exciting fashion, with a final score of 24-22. And this effort can be credited to one man in particular: Sam Darnold.
In his return from mono, Darnold reminded the NFL what he can do. He lit up the field, throwing for 338 yards while completing 72 percent of his passes and throwing for two touchdowns. Jets fans were beyond relieved to see this performance, considering the nearly unwatchable offense they had to bear through for the previous three games.
The Jets face a tough matchup in Week 7, going against the New England Patriots. Yes, the Jets win was awesome and refreshing, but the Cowboys are nowhere near as daunting of an opponent as the Patriots.
Darnold will face one of the best pass defenses in football on the big stage Monday night, a team that’s riled up 25 sacks and 14 interceptions. They have had their lucky share of opponents, facing a sequence of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Luke Falk, Josh Allen, Colt McCoy, and Daniel Jones since Week 2.
The Patriots give Darnold arguably the biggest test of his young career, and it comes during primetime in Week 7. If the Jets somehow manage to make a statement and pull out an upset victory over New England, they mean business in the playoff picture.
Their 1-4, soon to be 1-5 or 2-4 record is disheartening, but following their matchup against the Pats, their schedule gets easier. When I say easier, I mean ridiculously easier.
Special episode of @Manchild_Show w/ @BoyGreen25 feat @eallenjets, @nyjets:– Recapping #DALvsNYJ.– Looking ahead to #NEvsNYJ. – The return of Sam Darnold. – @LeVeonBell a model teammate on/off field.#TakeFlight #Jets #JetUp https://t.co/pr5ZpIJG7m
— The Jets Zone (@TheJets_Zone) October 15, 2019
Here are their remaining games following Monday night:
- Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4)
- Miami Dolphins (0-5)
- New York Giants (2-4)
- Washington Redskins (1-5)
- Oakland Raiders (3-2)
- Cincinnati Bengals (0-6)
- Miami Dolphins (0-5)
- Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4)
- Buffalo Bills (4-1)
Those teams’ records total up to a whopping 18-38. This is the easiest remaining schedule in football based on the opponent’s records. If the Jets can beat a team as talented as the Cowboys, who couldn’t they beat on that schedule?
Say a loss to the Patriots drops them to 1-5. It’s incredibly difficult to go 10 games without a lapse, but a healthy Jets team could definitely win at least eight games in that stretch if they played well enough. If we see what we saw in Week 6 every week during this stretch, it’s not far-fetched to say they can go 9-1 or even 10-0 in that stretch.
That’s not super likely of course, given that the Jets don’t have a powerhouse Super Bowl-caliber roster. If they lose to New England and go 8-2 in the back half of the season and finish at 9-7, that is very possibly just enough to squeeze into a wild card spot.
It may not be likely that the Jets make the playoffs or even make a run at it, but don’t write them off quite yet. With a ridiculously easy schedule, Sam Darnold at quarterback, and the return of CJ Mosley coming sooner than later, the New York Jets are not a team to count out just yet.